When LinkedIn first made headlines, and indeed when I first started writing about it on the Artisan Blog, it was good for 3 major things:

• As a place to post your resume where it could be searched
• As a way to connect with people you know and the people they know
• As a place to boost your credibility in your field as a thought leader by participating in discussions

But LinkedIn is getting bigger and its usefulness is getting broader as well.

Telling a More Complete Story
With the addition of Volunteer Experience and Skills, you can show not only what you have done as an employee, but what you can do that you have learned outside of work, how you give back to the community and where your passions lie.

Job searches are great on LinkedIn.  You can also find people who work at your target companies. LinkedIn searches are also excellent for finding people who work in the role you would like or who have other things in common with you (same school, same cities, same former companies, same volunteer organizations, etc).  This gives you the opportunity to broaden your network beyond the people you know in real life.

Establishing Yourself in a New Role

If you are changing the focus of your career, LinkedIn can put you in touch with people in your new field and allow you to show your expertise and knowledge even before you land a job. Get yourself into groups and discussions in your new target area and let the people there know what you bring to the table.

The social media landscape changes almost every day, with new platforms, new profiles, and new ways of engaging. It’s hard to keep up with the changes sometimes, but well worth the effort.

Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative